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posted: 12/7/2013 5:00 AM

Education problem is too much coddling

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The Guest View on Nov. 21 from Harry Bateman, executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, makes a case for the need for "educated and skilled" citizens to fill available jobs in Illinois. I believe that while education is important, it is not what is lacking.

Unlike Mr. Bateman's preference, I advocate for an approach that should not cost students or taxpayers a dime.

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As a former school board president, father of two currently enrolled in a four-year university, and employer for 30 years, my suggestion is a result of seeing the issue of developing hirable workers from several perspectives.

The world is full of confident, educated people who are poorly performing employees. This is a result of the trend in our society to "protect" our kids from failure (sports with no scoring, schools that shuffle unaccomplished students through, etc.).

In doing this, we rob from them the ability to learn vital skills needed not only in the workforce, but in life if they are to be productive: resiliency, work ethic, respect and the ability to think critically.

We don't need more or better education in a traditional sense, but rather a shift by elementary schools and parenting to allow our kids to learn accountability and to appreciate success as a result of having earned it.

Keith Gray

Mettawa

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